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Suicide Attack Killed Fall River Soldier, US Says


The explosion that killed a Fall River soldier on an Afghan military base this week was a suicide attack, the Pentagon has confirmed.

It was not immediately clear how the attacker got into the base or how many people were wounded in Monday's blast. NATO referred questions to Afghan military officials because it happened on their base.

On Saturday, Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said he had received no information that the attack was a suicide bomb. The Taliban claimed responsibility in calls to news organizations in Kabul soon after the blast.

Sgt. Robert J. Barrett, 20, of Fall River, died Monday when a suicide bomber attacked his unit in the Afghan capital, according to a statement posted Friday on the Pentagon website. Several U.S. soldiers were also wounded.

Earlier this week, Barrett's father, Paul Barrett, told WBUR that the attacker stole an Afghan uniform and infiltrated a group of Afghans his son and eight other U.S. soldiers were training to be police officers.

The younger Barrett was the father of a 2-year-old daughter named Sophie Alexandra. He also served at the inauguration of President Barack Obama as a member of the Massachusetts National Honor Guard's volunteer regiment.

This program aired on April 24, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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